Skip To Content

    Hip Hop DJ Casually Answers The Questions About Race We've All Been Wondering

    “Systemic racism: Is that really a thing?”

    Sometimes things happen that make you ask yourself, “Was that racism just now? Was that a thing?”

    Race Forward / Via

    Hip-hop radio host Jay Smooth teamed up with video blogger Kat Lazo to produce a series of videos for social justice organization Race Forward to answer these very difficult questions.

    Ever been curious about the median net worth for different families in the United States? Jay Smooth has you covered.

    Race Forward / Via

    Statistics gathered by the Pew Research Center.

    What about mass incarceration?

    Race Forward
    Race Forward

    Statistics gathered from The Sentencing Project and The New Jim Crow.

    Oh, and infant mortality?

    Race Forward
    Race Forward
    Race Forward

    Jay Smooth says that African American babies are more than twice as likely to die before they turn one compared to children of other races.
    Statistics gathered from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Amnesty International, and the Center for Disease Control.

    Drug arrests?

    Race Forward
    Race Forward

    Statistics gathered by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    The clips were directed by Kat Lazo, who makes videos tackling various social issues, and told BuzzFeed News about her tactics for making videos with a strong message.

    "My objective is always to make the message accessible, and humor is a great way to package heavily complex and controversial issues like race and racism," she said. "It allows people to digest the messaging easier."

    Jay Smooth told BuzzFeed News the two deliberately framed each video around the question "Is this a thing?"

    "It's a question people will find themselves asking all the time, in this era where so much bias and inequity persists, but there is rarely a definitive 'smoking gun,'" he said. "And then for many who don't experience it firsthand there can be a willful obliviousness to the possibility that any racism is actually a thing in 2015."

    He added, "There's levels to this!"

    Watch all eight videos here.

    View this video on YouTube

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form